Catalan Separatists Wins Regional Parliamentary Elections in Spain

IndraStra Global

Catalan Separatists Wins Regional Parliamentary Elections in Spain

IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: Pro-independence Catalans from all over Europe take part in a rally showing their support to ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his government, in Brussels, Belgium December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Image Attribute: Pro-independence Catalans from all over Europe take part in a rally showing their support to ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his government, in Brussels, Belgium December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Desposed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont celebrated the latest winning of the regional parliamentary election.   He's been in self-imposed exile since Spanish state prosecutors accuse him of sedition, and he faces arrest if he were to return home. 

The three Catalan separatist parties—Junts per Catalunya (previously PDeCat, previously CiU), Republican Catalan Left (Esquerra, ERC) and the CUP— by winning a total of 70 seats, giving them a slim majority as a block in the regional parliamentary election held on December 21, 2017. Election turnout was 82%, a record for a Catalan regional election that rose six points compared to 2015.

Earlier in October, the Spanish government stripped Catalonia of its autonomy (under Spain’s Section 155, The Constitution of Spain) and called the election after declaring a full independence referendum (held on October 1, 2017) illegal. In November 2014, a trial referendum was conducted which has been outlawed by Spain. But, later separatists won the 2015 regional election.

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Section 155, PART VIII, Territorial Organization of the State - CHAPTER 3: Self-governing Communities, The Constitution of Spain, Page No: 75-76 

1. If a Self-governing Community does not fulfill the obligations imposed upon it by the Constitution or other laws, or acts in a way that is seriously prejudicial to the general interest of Spain, the Government, after having lodged a complaint with the President of the Self-governing Community and failed to receive satisfaction therefore, may, following approval granted by the overall majority of the Senate, take all measures necessary to compel the Community to meet said obligations, or to protect the above mentioned general interest. 

2. With a view to implementing the measures provided for in the foregoing paragraph, the Government may issue instructions to all the authorities of the Self-governing Communities. 

Note: Execution by Government of Community’s obligations in case of noncompliance.

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The outcome of election accounts only 47.5 percent of the vote out of which a slim majority has been achieved by the separatists. This doesn’t bring real independence any closer than it was at the end of October 2017, when Puigdemont fled from the country to escape a Spanish court probe that resulted in series of arrests his allies.

The government prosecutors accused 13 Catalan separatist politicians of rebellion and sedition, including Puigdemont and four others who fled to Belgium. Among the accused, two pro-independence politicians are in Spanish prisons, and six are being monitored while on bail.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had hoped the election would return Catalonia to what he has called “normality,” under a unionist government or with a separatist government that would not seek a unilateral split. But, the outcome of this election, will require a necessary due diligence at his end for the next move, to reclaim control of the regional assembly.

INTERNATIONAL REACTIONS:


"Our position on the question of Catalonia is well known and has been regularly restated, at all levels. It will not change," European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein (Source: AFP News Agency).